By Jason Boyle
Blackstone Products began in 2005 when they came to market with their original product the 36” griddle. Their “goal is to bring family and friends together with the most efficient and functional griddles on the market.” Their current line up features three different grill sizes, 17, 28 and 36 inches, a pizza oven, a tailgater combo and more. Their website is easy to use and worth giving a look.
I received the Blackstone Products 28” griddle for this review. The 28”griddle comes in a matte black finish and a stainless steel version. The grill features two independent H shaped burners, and Blackstone claims that the H shape helps ensure even heating. Each burner is claimed to supply 17,000 BTU. There is a piezo lighter powered by a single AA battery to light the burners.
The frame itself is fairly simple – a handle on one end and a shelf on the other. The unit has wheels on the opposite side from the handle that makes it is easy to move. There is also a bottom tray at the mid-point of the legs for storage. The bottom tray can be removed via knobs and the legs of the griddle fold up for easy transport.
The griddle is made of cold rolled steel and has a 28.5” by 16.5” cooking surface. Three sides of the griddle have a wall that is about an inch high and the front of the griddle has a small “V” shaped groove to help funnel oil to the included drip cup that hangs from the edge of the griddle.
Putting together the Blackstone griddle was fairly easy. It came shipped in a large box that held all the components. All of the small items came in a blister pack. I did think that I was missing a few screws at first, but they were inside of the control knobs for the burners. I was able to put the entire thing together in about 10 minutes with only a screwdriver and a pair of pliers and a little bit of help from my wife.
The griddle needs to be seasoned before it is used. It comes covered with soy oil to help preserve the griddle while shipping. Blackstone gives extensive instructions on how to season the griddle on their website. I highly recommend following these instructions. I followed them and my griddle has already started to develop a nice black finish.
There are several characteristics that I will look for while reviewing the Blackstone 28” Griddle. Cleanliness is the first. How easy is the griddle to clean? If it is difficult or tedious to clean that will certainly detract from my desire to use it. Second, how easy is the griddle to cook on? Third, how easy is the griddle to transport. Blackstone mentions it is transportable for tailgating and camping. These are just a few of the questions I want answer over the next couple of months.
This concludes my initial review.
Update on the Blackstone Products 28” griddle review – June 20, 2018
I have used the Blackstone Griddle on the following trips: a two night camping trip at Grand Isle State Park, LA; a 2 night camping trip and an overnight trip to Buccaneer State Park on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Additionally, I have used it to cook numerous meals at home. Temperatures for these trips ranged from cool 60s in Grand Isle to the 90s at Buccaneer. I experienced heavy thunderstorms on my 2 night trip to Bucaneer State Park. Humidity has been high. I store the Blackstone outside on my patio uncovered.
I mentioned in the my initial thoughts that I would evaluate the Blackstone Griddle on three criteria – cooking, cleaning, and how easy it is to transport. I want to start with cooking because that is the entire purpose of the griddle. It is a cooking machine. Breakfast is my favorite meal to cook and I can cook an entire pack of bacon and scramble eggs at the same time. I also like that there is space to cook 6 large pancakes at one time. It makes cooking for a large group easy.
I have also cooked fresh veggies like squash and asparagus. I like that I am able to cook veggies efficiently on one side of the griddle while keeping the other side hot to sear steaks or chicken.
A good lesson I have learned is to bring the griddle up to temperature and back off on the heat. One time while cooking bacon, I had the griddle at max heat and I laid out the bacon piece by piece. However, by the time I finished putting the last piece of a standard pack of bacon on the griddle my first few pieces had burned. I found that getting the griddle hot and backing off works the best for my cooking style. There has not been anything that I have not been able to cook on the griddle.
The second characteristic is cleanliness. Overall, cleaning the griddle is fairly easy. It took several times of me seasoning the griddle to get a nice black cooking surface. One thing that I noticed is that the grill is off kilter when it is cold, basically it looks warped. I am not sure how or why that happened. However, once the griddle is heated up it lays flat.
The V shaped notch at the bottom of the griddle does a good job of catching drippings and such, but it is very shallow so it does not hold much volume. The angle to the open end is very shallow which means that it drains slowly. The grease cup that hangs on the edge of the griddle does not line up well so that just as much grease and oil goes down the leg of the griddle as goes into the cup. I find that I need to help the oil and grease down the notch and into the cup. I like to keep a clean cooking surface so this is a bit of a pain.
Cleaning the grill is pretty easy. I use the flat tool included to scrape any food particles to the V shaped notch or just use a paper towel to wipe it up. I also use tepid water on the hot griddle to steam off any food that burned to the griddle. I have always seasoned my griddle with oil after use.
An unexpected challenge with keeping the grill clean is outside storage. I keep the griddle on my back porch uncovered. The surface of the griddle seems to catch every dog hair and weed or leaf blown by the wind. I purchased a cheap grill cover and it is does an ok job of keeping stuff off of the surface of the griddle but it is way too big for the 28” griddle.
My final characteristic is how easy is it to transport. Blackstone says the griddle is easy to transport, and it even has large thumb knobs to take it apart and fold it up. Maybe I am lazy, but this seems like a lot of work to me. I do think it is transportable though. I take the griddle of the top, and don’t actually attach the propane bottle to the frame. This makes the frame easy to roll on the wheels and is actually light enough that my 12 year old daughter and I can pick it up and put it in the bed of my truck where I bungee it to a tie down. I then secure the griddle and propane bottle in the back of the truck and off we go.
Overall, I am pleased with the Blackstone 28” Griddle. It cooks well and allows me to cook an entire meal at the same time. Cleaning is not as easy as some other cook tops, but still ok. It is transportable and I think it would be perfect for tailgating in addition to using it camping as I have done.
This concludes my update. Please check back in about a month for my final thoughts. Thanks to 4alloutdoors.org and Blackstone for providing the griddle for this review.